Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Album Review: Buena Vista Social Club- Lost And Found

Buena Vista Social Club
Lost And Found
***and1/2 out of *****
Can it be almost 20 years since Buena Vista Social Club entered the American lexicon? Time flies and with it lives as many of the original members including bassist Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, percussionist Miguel "Anga" Diaz and guitarist/singer Company Segundo have passed from this world. The newest offering from the collective Lost And Found seems to be acting as a final look back to the musicians and sound that made Cuba's 40's and 50's jazz clubs the place to be.   

That playing was resurrected in 1997 by Ry Cooder, who produced these musicians sessions and opened up their sound to a whole new generation of listeners (present company included) around the world. The music was just as alive at the end of the centruy as it was in the middle of it, splashing rhythmic lines with excellent melodies and vibrant upbeat playing.

Lost And Found is a mix of songs from those sessions that didn't make the original album, various other recordings from late 90's/early 00's and live recordings. While not surpassing the original it acts as a nice complement with tracks that bounce and cook in the trademark Cuban style.   

Opening with the live crowd appreciated "Bruca Manugua" the album puts listeners back in that Latin inspired mindset. "Macusa" is a studio cut that moves all over the place with acoustic picking and injects a noisy, rhythmic piano in the distant right speaker/headphone that adds a unique slight dissonance to things.

"Black Chicken 37" is all about the bass and percussion; this track would make a fantastic backing for the adventurous hip-hop M.C. "Como Fue" is a live cut that puts the focus completely on the vocals while "Guajira En F" is a great mix of the collectives playing style.  

Tracks like the short "Habanera" and "Tiene Sabor" which is piano led with female vocals and a cutting violin solo, still feel like something would be needed to make them complete. That outtake vibe doesn't crop up often, but there is no doubt new listeners should go to the original first, then pick up Lost And Found. Both are worth your time and energy as the BVSC sound should be treasured and appreciated. 
Support the artists here, buy the album here, stream the album here at NPR for a limited time and peep some video below:

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